Background: Chronic inflammation is related to both obesity and diabetes. Our aim was to investigate to what extent this inflammation contributes to the association between obesity and diabetes. Methods. Using a case-cohort design, we followed 567 middle-aged individuals who developed diabetes and 554 who did not over 9 years within the ARIC Study. Weighted Cox proportional hazards analyses permitted statistical inference to the entire cohort. Results: Obese individuals (BMI≥30 kg/m§ssup§2§esup§), compared to those with BMI<25 kg/m§ssup§2§esup§, presented a large increased risk of developing diabetes (HR[obesity]=6.4, 95%CI 4.5-9.2), as did those in the highest (compared to the lowest) quartile of waist circumference (HR[waist]=8.3, 95%CI 5.6-12.3), in analyses adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, study center, and parental history of diabetes. Notably, further adjustment for adiponectin and inflammation markers halved the magnitude of these associations (HR[obesity]=3.2, 95%CI 2.1-4.7; and HR[waist]=4.2, 95%CI 2.8-6.5). In similar modeling, attenuation obtained by adding fasting insulin, instead of these markers, was only slightly more pronounced HR[obesity]=2.7, 95%CI 1.7-4.1; and HR[waist]=3.6, 95%CI 2.3-5.8). Conclusions: The marked decrease in the obesity-diabetes association after taking into account inflammation markers and adipokines indicates their major role in the pathways leading to adult onset of diabetes in obese individuals.
- Epidemiologic studies